How to prepare for your first Cycling Time Trial

Time trial season is just around the corner. Our very own Kinetic-One Time Trial Series starts on 18th April and continues each month throughout the summer at Castle Combe race track, so we thought it might be handy to share some TT-specific training tips for those new to the game! We will follow this with some specific training sessions in our next blog.

First off, it may be worth explaining what a Time Trial actually is. It’s a non-drafting bike race of a set distance (normally 10, 25, 50 or 100 miles) where the sole aim is to get from start to finish as quickly as possible.

Warm up
It’s definitely worth warming up, particularly if you’re racing a 10 or 25-mile TT as you’ll be going hard from the gun. Either cycle on the road or bring a turbo trainer / rollers to spin your legs before starting the race. Spend a good 20 minutes warming up, starting easy and building the intensity to get the blood pumping through your legs.

We’ve arrived late to a TT before, with just minutes to kit-up and get ourselves to the start…it’s not pretty!

Your position on the bike is important. Although you want to cheat the wind and hunker down as much as possible, it’s important to be comfortable too, regardless of whether you’re riding a time trial or road bike. There’s no point being super-aerodynamic if you’re so uncomfortable you can’t peddle. Play around with your setup until you find that sweet spot.

Practice proper pacing
As most of us know, the quickest and most efficient way to get from A-B is to pace as evenly as possible, and this is never truer than in a time trial. It’s bound to take a few goes to get it right, but it’s very easy to go off too hard and pay for that energy expenditure in the latter stages! Even at our 10-mile TT’s, which are quite a short distance, we see many people posting rapid first and second laps onto to crawl over their last.

In training, practice riding at your planned pace and focus on keeping that effort consistent. It shouldn’t feel too difficult over the first few miles, but it’ll start to pinch soon enough!

Don’t be intimidated
To be honest, the best tip we can give is just to get out there and ride some TT’s. It’s the best way to practice pacing, nutrition strategies and positioning on the bike.

TTs can also appear to be the reserve of only expert cyclists with £10,000 bikes. That’s just not the case, and certainly not for us at DB Max. Anyone who’s been to our TT series at Castle Combe will attest to the enormous range of abilities riding round the track.

Don’t forget to get your name onto one of our Kinetic-One Time Trial Series events or enter the whole series and get a discount. They’re very relaxed and informal and although we always have a few speedy demons, most are there for a fun evening and to enjoy cycling on a closed road time trial course. We hope to see you soon!

The Team at DB Max